The Lebanese army has made a deal with Hizbullah terrorist guerillas, dividing up patrols in southern Lebanon, according to an officer of the United Nations Interim Forces (UNIFIL).

Hajj Ali, a Hizbullah terrorist leader who lives in the village of Bint Jbil near the Israeli border, declared, "There will be another war in the summer. It is the beginning of the end for Israel; we are preparing."

"Hizbullah still dominates the south, its security men policing the Shi'ite villages and its fighters patrolling the border," the Guardian reported.

Shi'ite Muslims, aligned with Hizbullah, have re-armed, said the newspaper, which questioned the effectiveness of UNIFIL.

Compounding the international force's problems in carrying out its mission of keeping Hizbullah out of the area is a growing suspicion among local residents. Analysts have noted that most of southern Lebanon is obligated to Hizbullah, which has provided residents with social and economic support.

UNIFIL soldiers "are not our guests any more," said Hajj Ali of Bint Jbil, where Hizbullah scored a devastating blow on IDF troops in the village last summer by using advanced anti-tank missiles that Israeli intelligence did not know were in their possession.

"UNIFIL has not lifted a hand against Israel but only intervenes to protect the Israelis, why are they on our land and why have they brought so many tanks?" said a villager in Maroun a-Ras, another town close to the border and a site of major clashes with the IDF last summer.

Southern Lebanon residents also have complained that Israel conducts surveillance flights over the area to monitor terrorist activity. UNIFIL has refused to carry out a U.N. Security Council ceasefire resolution clause that it disarm Hizbullah, and Israel has said the flights are meant to fill the vacuum.

U.S. to Israel: No Talks with Syria

Both the United States and Israel have asserted that Syria is helping smuggle Iranian, Syria and Russian weapons to Hizbullah.

However, officials in the Olmert administration have left the door open for low-level exploratory talks with Damascus while categorically refusing direct talks at this stage.

This policy was criticized by American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who told government officials they "should not even think about" any dialogue with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert often sets policy according to advice and pressure from the Bush administration. He agreed to meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary Rice even though he previously had declared that no negotiations could be held so long as the PA, which now includes Hamas, does not cease terrorist attacks.

Olmert also has stated that the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is a condition to direct talks, but nevertheless met with Abbas twice in the past two months.